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The ‘policy mix’ for innovation: rethinking innovation policy in a multi-level, multi-actor context

  • Flanagan, Kieron
  • Uyarra, Elvira
  • Laranja, Manuel

Recent years have seen the emergence, take-up and use of the term 'policy mix' by innovation policy makers and by policy analysts & scholars alike. Imported from economic policy debates, the term implies a focus on the interactions and interdependencies between different policies as they affect the extent to which intended policy outcomes are achieved. However the meaning of the term remains ambiguous. Nonetheless, we argue that the emergence of the „policy mix‟ concept into common use in the field of innovation policy studies provides us with a window of opportunity to reconsider some basic and often hidden assumptions in order to better deal with a messy and complex, multi-level, multi-actor reality. We draw on the mainstream policy studies literature and on evolutionary thinking in order to re-conceptualise the basic building blocks of innovation policy studies in order to arrive at a useful definition of ‟policy mix‟ interactions. We suggest that this reconceptualisation has profound implications for the scope and focus of innovation policy studies and for what such studies can realistically hope to achieve in terms of policy prescriptions.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 23567.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:23567
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  1. Ulrich Witt, 2003. "Economic policy making in evolutionary perspective," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 77-94, 04.
  2. Peter Claeys, 2005. "Policy mix and debt sustainability: evidence from fiscal policy rules," Economics Working Papers ECO2005/01, European University Institute.
  3. David, Paul & Aghion, Philippe, 2008. "Science, Technology and Innovation for Economic Growth: Linking Policy Research and Practice in "STIG Systems"," MPRA Paper 12096, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Robert A. Mundell, 1962. "The Appropriate Use of Monetary and Fiscal Policy for Internal and External Stability," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 9(1), pages 70-79, March.
  5. Elvira Uyarra, 2010. "What is evolutionary about ‘regional systems of innovation’? Implications for regional policy," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 115-137, January.
  6. Keith Smith, . "New directions in research and technology policy: Identifying the key issues," STEP Report series 199401, The STEP Group, Studies in technology, innovation and economic policy.
  7. Borrás, Susana, 2009. "The Widening and Deepening of Innovation Policy: What Conditions Provide for Effective Governance?," Papers in Innovation Studies 2009/2, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  8. Laranja, Manuel & Uyarra, Elvira & Flanagan, Kieron, 2008. "Policies for science, technology and innovation: Translating rationales into regional policies in a multi-level setting," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 823-835, June.
  9. Charles E. Lindblom, 1958. "Tinbergen on Policy-Making," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 531.
  10. Morlacchi, Piera & Martin, Ben R., 2009. "Emerging challenges for science, technology and innovation policy research: A reflexive overview," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 571-582, May.
  11. François Moreau, 2004. "The role of the state in evolutionary economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(6), pages 847-874, November.
  12. Steven Sorrell, 2003. "Carbon Trading in the Policy Mix," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 420-437.
  13. Chaminade, Cristina & Edquist, Charles, 2005. "From theory to practice: the use of systems of innovation approach in innovation policy," Papers in Innovation Studies 2005/2, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  14. Anna J. Wieczorek & Marko P. Hekkert & Ruud E.H.M. Smits, 2009. "Contemporary Innovation Policy and Instruments: Challenges and Implications," Innovation Studies Utrecht (ISU) working paper series 09-12, Utrecht University, Department of Innovation Studies, revised Jul 2009.
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